Nelson George’s Documentary Chronicling The Black Artist Community of
Fort Greene Debuts On February 2nd At 8:30 PM (ET/PT)
LOS ANGELES, CA (January 20, 2012) – SHOWTIME will begin a month-long series of programming in honor of Black History Month, on Thursday, February 2nd at 8:30 PM (ET/PT). The night kicks off with Brooklyn Boheme, an intimate portrait of the Black arts movement that exploded in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill from the mid-1980s through the 90s as told by writer, director, historian and twenty-year plus Brooklyn resident Nelson George.
George explores the neighborhood and the lives of his friends and colleagues, celebrating the creativity, lifestyle and love stories of a true Black bohemia. “Brooklyn Boheme” was the street slang term used, sometimes affectionately and sometimes not, to describe those who lived in the area. Unlike the legendary Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, which was largely a literary scene, the artists collected in these neighborhoods were involved with newer means of expression (film, rock music, hip-hop, avant garde theater, stand-up comedy and photography) as well as with the traditional African-American artistic pursuits (poetry and jazz).Some of the most influential figures in Black pop culture called Fort Greene, Brooklyn home at one point in the “bad old days” of the 1970s, the nascent but vibrant artists’ enclave in the 1980s, and when it hit its apex in the 1990s. From filmmaker Spike Lee to novelist Terry McMillan, from jazz men Wynton and Branford Marsalis to hip-hop icon Notorious B.I.G. to neo-soul goddess Erykah Badu, their work was deeply affected by the people they met and the strong sense of community they shared. Other artistic icons from the neighborhood featured in the documentary who shaped the Fort Greene/Clinton Hill Black arts era include comedian Chris Rock, actress Rosie Perez, guitarist Vernon Reid, playwright Lisa Jones Chapman, visual artist Lorna Simpson, cultural critic Touré, actor Saul Williams, award-winning recording artists Talib Kweli, Common and Mos, authors Kevin Powell and Carl Hancock Rux, among others.
George, in collaboration with documentary and commercial director Diane Paragas, explores why several generations of African Americans settled in Fort Greene/Clinton Hill and how it has evolved.